Gravitational Waves: Oxford Scientists Offer Exciting Insights

Agenparl - Oxford scientists have provided important insights into the latest discovery of gravitational waves.

The VLA findings are described in a paper published in the journal Science. Dr Mooley, a Hintze Research Fellow at Oxford, added: 'Two months after the neutron star merger, the electromagnetic signal has already faded below the sensitivity limits of most optical telescopes. It is also currently close to the Sun, and therefore radio wavelength observations are probably the only means of getting more information from the afterglow.

'Teams from Oxford, Caltech, Texas Tech and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory are now working together to watch the evolving electromagnetic counterpart with the VLA and other radio telescopes. These observations will provide key information about the environment in which the merger took place, as well as more fascinating details on the neutron-rich material that was ejected.'

Professor Podsiadlowski, co-author of the ePESSTO paper published in the journal Nature, said: 'The discovery of the optical transient event confirmed that the merger of two neutron stars is associated with a kilonova. Kilonovae are powered by the nuclear reactions that occur when the neutron-rich material ejected in the merger decompresses and starts to build up heavy nuclei. This includes neutron-rich elements such as gold and platinum, whose origin has been a longstanding mystery.

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